December 22, 2015

In Which Severin Gets to the Point

January 24, 1197

"Queen Celina of Dovia." Severin had to smile at the thought. "Well, no one who knows you could deny that you'd do that title proud."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I don't know if I'd feel right about representing a country I haven't lived in for decades."

"And that's fair."

"But I do love Dovia, and I love Naroni. If Oswald's right and I'd be able to reassure the Dovian populace, then that's to the benefit of both nations."

"True." It didn't surprise him that Celina had already put considerable thought into this before consulting him or anyone else. Since they'd been children, her aim had always been to do the right thing, for as many people as possible, and she wasn't the sort to rush in if she couldn't tell what the right thing was. She had to figure it out first. It was a quality Severin had always admired in her, as he himself tended more toward the impulsive.

And if either path could have equal claim to being the ethically 'right' path, then perhaps that was why she'd sought him out first--not that he could help much here. "I don't know if I can tell you anything you haven't already considered. The intent is good, and I believe you'd do everything in your power to carry out that intent. That said, there could be complications, and this wouldn't be the only way to calm the discontent."

"If you could even call it 'discontent'. Oswald didn't seem especially worried--just aware." Celina twisted her wedding ring about her finger. It hadn't been all that long since Ovrean's passing, really, and Severin doubted she'd thought much of marrying again. Then again, she probably hadn't thought of marrying again after Dalston had died either. "Might I ask what you would do in this situation?"

"Oh, Lord. Even if I were currently detached, I'd be shocked if Oswald had any interest in marrying me--and not just because I hog the blankets." He winked at his own joke, but Celina only indulged him with a polite grin. She wanted him to get to the point. Fair enough. "All right. If I were you... hmm. Well, I don't think I'd do it, and not just because I'd go mad at the thought of being monogamous with someone I'd only see once or twice a year. I just don't think I could continue going about my life in Naroni knowing that all of Dovia will be scrutinous of my every move."

Celina nodded. "That they will be."

"That said--I'm not you, and you're not me. Good luck finding ten people in Dovia who prefer me to a pair of old socks, but all these years later and they still hold nothing but love for Princess Wondrona's only daughter. You also now have a granddaughter poised to become the next Countess of Bandera, whose children will inherit her father-in-law's title; it's in your own family's best interests to serve Dovia well."

"You know... I don't think Oswald had considered my granddaughter, oddly enough." That merited a much truer smile than any tasteless joke about sex with Oswald could. "But the people will. Thank you for reminding me of that."

"Not a problem. But whoever else you talk to, just remember that this is your decision, and you're one of my oldest friends, and there are few people in this world whose judgment I trust more than yours." He reached for her hand and squeezed it, as if support could manifest as physical pressure. "Whatever you decide will be the right choice, and my family and I will back you no matter what happens."


1 comment:

Van said...

These two look good for two people in their sixties. I age up to elder at 70 (Oswald's age), so there may need to be a couple Severin/Celina/Octavius/etc.-lite years soon so as to not shock anyone with their sudden elderness.